No place for Chinese propaganda in Australian universities

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We are asking the University of Queensland (UQ) to shut down its Confucius Institute.

There is a serious threat to academic freedom in 13 Australian universities. Contracts reveal that the universities hosting China’s Confucius Institutes must comply with Beijing’s directive on Chinese language teaching.

UQ has perhaps the most controversial agreement of all. Not only must it accept the Chinese government’s assessment on the teaching quality, but it must also “plan promotional activities to establish and increase the impact of the brand of the Confucius Institute including media events such as films and television screenings”. In other words, it must actively seek to promote China’s propaganda efforts. It is hardly surprising, after all.

Peter Høj, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, until last year was a consultant to Hanban, the key Chinese government agency that oversees the global network of Confucius Institutes. For his service, Professor Høj received the “2015 Outstanding Individual of the Year Award” from the Chinese government.

Disguised as centres for teaching Chinese language and culture, Confucius Institutes are embedded in universities worldwide to promote a distorted view of China and silence discussions on issues such as Tibet, East Turkestan (Xinjiang), Taiwan, Hong Kong, Falun Gong and Tiananmen Square Massacre. 

We are asking UQ to shut down its Confucius Institute. This is a critical time as the university is currently renewing and renegotiating its contract. 

It’s time to defend academic integrity. It’s time to #SayNoToChinesePropaganda on our campuses. 

And it’s time to stand with the people whose fundamental rights the Chinese government has violated for far too long.

PS: Learn more about our campaign Say No to Chinese Propaganda.